Exactly 350 years ago, on 31 May, 1669, Samuel Pepys stopped writing his diary and our intimate view of life in London in the 17th century was suddenly cut short, writes novelist Deborah Swift. She tells Historia what we’re missing as a result.
Author Andrew Taylor writes for Historia about the King’s Evil and the royal ritual surrounding this disease.
London 1667. In the Court of Charles II, it’s a dangerous time to be alive – a wrong move may lead to disgrace, exile or death. The discovery of a body at Clarendon House, the palatial home of one of the highest courtiers in the land, could therefore have catastrophic consequences. James Marwood, a traitor’s […]
The Great Fire has ravaged London, wreaking destruction and devastation wherever its flames spread. Now, guided by the incorruptible Fire Court, the city is slowly rebuilding, but times are volatile and danger is only ever a heartbeat away. James Marwood, son of a traitor, is thrust into this treacherous environment when his ailing father claims […]
Familiar things, like household accounts, can be the only traces that can lead us to the everyday lives of women in previous centuries. For author Stacey Halls, domestic records painted a detailed picture of 17th century life. In 1660, a pregnant woman named Alice Thornton had a dream in which the white sheet she slept […]
In an age of treachery, everyone must pick a side . . . Newly returned from years of secret work in Paris, Lieutenant Holcroft Blood, a brilliant but unusual gunnery officer in His Majesty’s Ordnance, must now face King James II’s enemies on the gore-drenched battlefields of the British Isles. But after the victory at […]
Deborah Swift explores how the plague was understood and treated in 17th century London. Today, people have widely variable responses to disease and its cure. I don’t think I’m alone in having friends who show hypochondriac tendencies, who use ‘alternative’ or even quack medicines, or who are convinced that a random event, real or supernatural, has […]
For National Tea Day, Isabel Stilwell investigates the story of Catherine of Braganza, the queen who popularised Britain’s favourite drink. In 1777 a Frenchman came to Portugal as a spy, and to prove his point that the country was utterly under British influence, he wrote: “The Portuguese copy the English to such an extent, that they […]